Simple Leche Flan from the Philippines

Leche Flan with caramel cage

Region Intro

Leche Flan in the Philippines, Banh mi in Vietnam, Baasto in Somalia and Chicken Tikka Masala in England (wait a minute, this is different), colonization has impacted the cuisines of numerous nations all over the world. Leche flan is a result of Spanish colonization in the Philippines and holds a very special place in Filipino cuisine.

A beautiful archipelago, spread over more than 7000 islands, Philippines, some say, is the jolliest of all Asian nations and the king of karaoke. Yes, the first working karaoke machine was patented by a Filipino named Roberto del Rosario in 1975. Filipino food has evolved over many centuries and 

About the dish:

Leche Flan is a must-have dessert in every Filipino feast and is made of just eggs, milk, and condensed milk with a layer of soft caramel on top. Traditionally, Leche Flan is made in an oblong-shaped tin container called Llanera which is quite ingenious as the caramel is cooked in the same container in which the flan is cooked. Only one dish to wash in the end is a major win in my eyes! Sugar is cooked in Llanera to form caramel and then egg and milk mixture is poured in the same container and steamed for about 30 minutes. The result is smooth, velvety, and creamy goodness with the toasty caramel. 

About the guest

I was introduced to Leche Flan by my lovely guest Rosalyn. I have been following Rose’s Instagram page for a few months now and she was the first person whom I pitched the idea for my project Across Kitchen Line to. 

This past one week I worked closely with Rose learning about her, the recipe, and above all the plating (which I definitely want to improve at). We talked about the importance of plating, kind of plates to use, brainstormed garnishing ideas, dos, and don’ts for caramel cage (the list is long and Rose is a great teacher). Rose was very kind to share her recipe with me and also Ok’d to share it with you :). 

From Rose: “My name is Rosalyn but most people call me Rose. I’m originally from the Philippines and I have been living in Denmark for 11 years now. 

When I was 7 years old I loved watching a baking show – I just thought it was fun. But I was actually 16 yrs old when I started having more interest in cooking. Although it was pretty simple Filipino food I had been making. I thought it was really fun. 

The first cookbook that I ever bought was Giada de Laurentiis. I loved watching her and trying her recipes when I was younger. I cant get enough of watching master chefs and all kinds of cooking shows on YouTube and Netflix. 

I chose creme caramel/Leche flan because it’s a very good dessert. It’s an international superstar. I think a lot of country have their own Leche flan just they name it differently. Or maybe just a few different methods of making it. 

I love making classic food but I do love giving some recipe my very own twist. A bit of Asian touch I guess.”

Leche Flan
Leche Flan by Rosalyn

If you are on Instagram, you need to follow her page @dishupwithrose to get your daily dose of delight. Rose posts Michelin star level dishes (almost) every day right from her home kitchen. A food enthusiast, having experienced more than 10 Michelin star restaurant meals, brings finesse to each and every pretty plate she posts on her page. 

Recipe

Some version of flan or flan-like custard dish is available in almost every cuisine (especially the countries that have had some western influence in the past). Growing up in India, I enjoyed eating custard pudding with fruits that my mom used to make.

Rose introduced me to Leche Flan and she sent me a detailed recipe that I am sharing with you below. Her recipe is a bit different from the textbook Leche Flan which uses condensed milk. This recipe replaces condensed milk with heavy cream so you get the richness in texture minus the excessive sweetness from the condensed milk. Also, for extra flavor, this recipe uses half a cup of espresso coffee. I make mine using a Bialetti coffee maker. If you do not have one, its a great addition to your kitchen if you are a coffee drinker. Just saying. 

Leche Flan with caramel cage
Leche Flan with Caramel Cage
Leche Flan with caramel cage

Leche Flan (with coffee)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Leche Flan is a rich, velvety, and decadent dessert from the Philippines. All you need is eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla essence.

Ingredients

Caramel

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Flan

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup espresso

Instructions

Caramel:

On medium-high heat add the sugar in a saucepan and caramelize. When sugar melts and turns light brown, immediately pour on the ramekins and set aside.

Flan:

  1. Position the rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 165 C / 329 F.
  2. Arrange 4 6oz ramekins in a large roasting pan
  3. Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil. This hot water will be used to create a water bath when baking the flan.
  4. Combine the milk, cream, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pan and stir the coffee.
  5. Whisk egg yolks, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl and then slowly add the hot milk/coffee mixture, whisking constantly so you don’t cook the eggs.
  6. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Portion the custard among the ramekins. Pour the hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan until it comes to 1/3 to 1/2 way up the sides of the ramekins.
  7. Bake the custard in the water bath until the edges are set but the center still jiggles slightly when gently shaken. This should take roughly 30-35 minutes.
  8. When ready, take the roasting pan out of the oven. Let the ramekins rest in the water for about 5 minutes and then leave them on the kitchen shelf for another 10-15 minutes to cool down. Chill in the fridge overnight for the custard to set completely.
  9. At the time of serving, run a knife around the edges. Invert onto a serving plate. Enjoy!
  10. You can garnish with chopped pistachios and peeled orange slices. This step is optional.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 370Total Fat: 17gCarbohydrates: 46gSugar: 46gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate. I would not make any major life decisions based on this.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram(tag @t_as_in_tarun and #acrosskitchenlines)

My experience 

Working with Rose and cooking this easy recipe of Leche flan was a wonderful experience. Make sure you get your culinary motivation and follow @dishupwithrose. If you follow every step in this recipe carefully, it is impossible to not get tasty results. Soft velvety flan with toasty sugary caramel in less than an hour is a must-try in my opinion. 

If you try this, please share pictures with me on Instagram @t_as_in_tarun or use #acrosskitchenlines.  If you have a recipe you want to cook with me, count me in! Please send me a message or leave a comment.

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